Duo who held gun to tot's face are caged for burglary
PUBLISHED: 15:29 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 25 August 2010
TWO men who held a gun to a six-year-old s head during a bungled burglary have been jailed for a total of 24 years.
TWO men who held a gun to a six-year-old's head during a bungled burglary have been jailed for a total of 24 years.
Linton Bert of Brookland Park, Greenwich and Adebavo Balagun of Ebdon Way, Greenwich, were sentenced to 12 years in prison each for aggravated burglary at Woolwich Crown Court last Monday.
The two 20-year-old men threatened a family of three with a gun after forcing their way into the home in Dursley Close, Blackheath, on January 24.
They hit the male occupant in the face with a handgun, threatened the female then held the gun to the child's face demanding money.
Bert was accused of threatening to kill the child, leading to the family opening their safe, allowing the criminals to make off with their £2,000 savings.
The traumatised family moved out of London altogether the next day and did not want to retell their ordeal.
VOCU, a unit set up this year to tackle serious organised crime, swooped on the two gang members in February and forensically linked them to the crime.
Bert and Balagun pleaded not guilty at Greenwich Magistrates Court in February, but were convicted in October.
DI Brian Wills said: "This was a terrifying attack, which changed the life of an entire family.
"I am extremely pleased with the results of the investigation."
The creation of the £3 million VOCU was first announced by the Times a year ago (Cops Target Gang Culture, November 1).
It was backed by Greenwich council in February when leader Chris Roberts approved a £1 million investment in the 20-man team.
The Metropolitan Police Service invested £1.5 million in the unit.